Hit the road and head for the sun to explore some of Australia’s most diverse and beautiful scenery in Tropical North Queensland. At a glance you will realise why Cairns and surrounds has become a cemented travel destination for travellers hailing from both home and abroad.
Whether you’re escaping the winter chill or just in the mood for a tropical getaway, Cairns is the perfect spot to kick-start your adventure. Pick up a car hire in Cairns and come with us as we explore the area’s most beautiful national parks.
MOUNT WHITEFIELD REGIONAL PARK
Just 5km from Cairns, Mount Whitefield Regional Park acts as the picturesque backdrop for Cairns. This beautiful park offers bushwalking opportunities at a stone’s throw from the city, making for an easy introduction to Queensland’s tropical rainforest environment.
If you’re feeling the need to get your blood pumping, get amongst the trees and fresh air on the “Red Arrow Circuit”. Taking between 40 minutes and one hour to complete, adventurers will be rewarded with uninterrupted views over the expansive Cairns coastline on this popular fitness trail.
BARRON GORGE NATIONAL PARK
Prehistoric and beautiful, Barron Gorge National Park is a stunning slice of scenery. Explore this rugged rainforest landscape via the scenic rail journey and the canopy-skirting heights of a cable car as you wind your way through waterfalls and spectacular views.
For the full rainforest experience, Barron Gorge National Park is best explored by car, allowing you to pick and choose where to stop and for how long. Discover private swimming holes dotted throughout the rainforest while you listen to the thundering presence of the surrounding waterfalls.
GREEN ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Green Island is a small tropical oasis covered in rainforest and surrounded by coral reefs. If it sounds perfect then that’s because it is – this little piece of paradise makes for a great day trip discovering marine life, relaxing on white sandy beaches or choosing a shady spot for lunch.
Jump into an underwater world and explore Green Islands with your pick of snorkelling, scuba diving and helmet diving. If you’re looking to stay dry, explore the reef via the glass bottom boat and semi-submarine instead.
DAINTREE NATIONAL PARK
Just north of Port Douglas is the Daintree Rainforest, a living museum that is home to over 18,000 plant species. Take a tour up the Daintree River in search of crocs, then walk amongst the dwarfing age old trees as you try to spot the elusive cassowary.
One of the highlights of the Daintree is Mossman Gorge. The tourist centre here exhibits a range of historical Aboriginal art which is well worth a peek. Be sure to bring your swimwear as the Gorge itself offers stunning swimming holes where crystal-clear water cascades over massive granite boulders.
FITZROY ISLAND NATIONAL PARK
Located 25km east of Cairns is Fitzroy Island National Park, one of the most unspoiled islands on the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re looking for a true tropical island experience, head to the Fitzroy Island Resort, sitting snugly in between the rainforest and the beach.
If you are just visiting for the day you will be spoilt for choice. Explore the winding trails through the rainforest, or jump on the giant ocean trampoline. A popular way to explore Fitzory Island is via kayaking, a tranquil way to cruise through the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef where you can find a deserted beach to escape and unwind.
WOOROONOORAN NATIONAL PARK
Take your time to enjoy nature’s beauty at Wooroonooran National Park. One of the main highlights of this destination is the Mamu Tropical Skywalk, a stunning way to take in the rainforest with plenty of informative boards that detail elements of the rainforest and its indigenous inhabitants.
If you’re here for a camping trip than Wooroonooran National Park makes a great spot to pitch up for the night. Campsites include Goldsborough Valley, Henrietta Creek and South Johnstone, where fishing is also possible.
MOUNT HYPIPAMEE NATIONAL PARK
Although Mount Hypipamee National Park is a decent distance from Cairns, it makes for a brilliant drive. If you have your own set of wheels, this is worth the trip, as the awe-inspiring crater and Dinner Falls are an awesome sight.
The crater is a deep, cylindrical volcanic pipe with a lake at the bottom covered in duck weed. Visitors find fun in throwing rocks down into the water, as the noise echoes immensely off the steep surrounding walls.
Ready to immerse yourself in Tropical North Queensland? Book your Cairns car rental today and see the best national parks on your own schedule!